Meet Your Compensation Cop: Kenneth Feinberg

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About the job title-- I'm not necessarily set on it but I know I'm not alone in being sick of sticking "Czar" on the end of everything to indicate this is the guy who will use the taser on you for failing to comply with whatever domain he's been staffed with overseeing. Enforcer would also work, as would drill sergeant, warden, etc. I only went with "cop" 'cause I know how you girls like your alliterations.
But anyway, yes: Kenneth Feinberg is the man the White House intends to name "Special Master for Compensation," as early as next week, in order to "ensure that companies receiving federal bailout funds are abiding by executive-pay guidelines, according to people familiar with the matter." Apparently a major factor in creating the gig was that no firms know what they are or aren't allowed to pay their employees.

For instance, companies have been confused about whether to pay 2008 bonuses, since restrictions on incentive pay didn't go into effect until early 2009. Some firms have made the payments while others have held off. Many firms are also unsure whether the "top earners" targeted by Congress include rank-and-file employees or just executives.

Rather than just letting everyone make educated guesses, Kenny will do so for them. In theory, he'll report to Tim Geithner but "is expected to have wide discretion on how the rules should be interpreted." And if you thought this was going to be another one of those loosey goosey stress test-like situations, wherein banks were allowed to show up at T. Geith's house in the middle of the night and argue the results, think again. According to the Journal, "Firms likely won't be able to appeal decisions that Mr. Feinberg makes to Mr. Geithner, according to people familiar with the matter." All that being said, let's be honest: it looks like Jamie Dimon could take him, easy.

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